May 14, 2020 / 5:59 PM / 19 days ago

European club finals could be in October, organisers say

(Reuters) - This season’s European club rugby finals could be staged in October while a number of one-off formats are being considered for next season, organisers said on Thursday.

European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) said it was making “every effort” to conclude this season’s Champions Cup and second tier Challenge Cup tournaments which were halted before the quarter-finals due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It said the resumption of both competitions was subject to official advice and with the health and welfare of players, club staff, match officials, supporters and the wider rugby community in mind.

“It is hoped that the 2020 finals could be staged on 16 and 17 October,” EPCR said.

It said that the formats being considered for next season included a 24-club Champions Cup — compared to the usual 20 — with eight representatives from each of Europe’s leading league competitions, played over eight weekends.

Any new format would only apply next season, it said.

Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond

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